Stud Chick

Host: Alexandria Station
Written by Nikki Iversen – Stud Overseer, Alexandria Station.

Hello, my name is Nikki Iversen, I’m often referred to as the “Stud Chick” and this is my story.

2.1 Nikki Iversen copyNikki Iversen

The plan was to jillaroo for two years at my first station. Three and a half years later I am looking after the stud operation on the second largest cattle station in Australia.

I wasn’t brought up on large properties, I come from central Queensland where mustering didn’t consist of big paddocks or large mobs of cattle, but thick scrub where there are no shortages of trees or hills and places you could only ride a horse through.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERANot a tree in sight – that’s the Barkly Tablelands.

When I left school I thought I better go work somewhere and ‘toughen up’. At Alexandria Station, where the smaller paddocks are bigger than most places at home, we still use horses a lot but motorbikes and helicopters are essential for mustering. With no trees in sight and the hottest temperatures I could imagine, what the hell was I thinking? But here I am nearly four years on.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAChopper moving the cows together.

I enjoy working on a place that is isolated, the wide open spaces of the Barkly Tableland sure is a great place to be, although the ‘Barkly Breeze’ can really get on your nerves. I will never forget the fantastic sunsets and sunrises, it is the best start and finish to a long day’s work.

My job at Alexandria Station is to oversee the stud cattle. The best part I must say is catching calves, and yes the mothers sometimes dislike me.

2.4 TSB Calf day old - I caught tagged weighted and DNA sampled copyTSB Calf 1 day old – Caught tagged, weighted, and DNA sampled.

During the time when there is no stud cattle work to do I drive all over the station and outstations looking at grass, I would say the less exciting part of my job. Every six weeks I collect manure samples for NIRS, maintain fences, check broodmares, and other general station jobs and also make sure I have all paperwork up to date.

The people at Alexandria are a fantastic team to work and get along with. Even though we all seem to have our own peculiar personalities, it’s these differences mixed with down to earth, honest goodness that attracts me to live and stay in this little world we call the outback.